There is nothing that we can do or not do to earn God's grace. As a matter of fact the definition of God's grace is His unmerited favor - His goodness toward those who have no claim on, nor reason to expect, divine favor. The principal manifestation of God's grace has been in the form of a gift.
Ephesians 2:8-9 CEV You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. It isn't something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.
God's Grace Takes Many Forms
The kindness or favor God give to all mankind, believer or not.
Matthew 5:44-45 (NKJV)44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Emphasis mine)
Acts 14:16-17 (NKJV)16 who in bygone generations allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.17 Nevertheless He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness."
God also grants grace in delaying judgement on mankind giving them a chance to accept His gift of eternal life.
2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The provision of salvation through Jesus
Romans 1:5 (HCSB) We have received grace and apostleship through Him to bring about the obedience of faith among all the nations, on behalf of His name,
Romans 3:24 (HCSB) They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 5:2 (HCSB) We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:15-17 (HCSB)15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.16 And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification.17 Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
The favor of God by which the Christian's salvation is kept secure in spite of sin.
John 10:27-29 (NKJV)27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.
John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
I could go on and on but as you have often heard me say, you didn’t have anything to do with your salvation. You are saved by the grace of God by and through faith, so there is nothing you can do to “un-save” yourself. Salvation is obtained and maintained by grace alone.
Sanctifying grace works within the true believer causing them to grow and mature and progress becoming more Christ-like.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
1 Corinthians 15:10 (NKJV) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
The Spiritual Gifts that believers have been given by the Holy Spirit are serving grace. In God’s Grace – Part One I wrote that the Greek word translated grace charis (pronounced cars) is the root of the word charisma which is the word Paul used for spiritual gifts.
Ephesians 4:7 (NKJV) But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
1 Peter 4:10 (NKJV) As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Grace given at special times of need, especially during adversity or suffering.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
James 4:6 (NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
God’s grace is manifested in a variety of ways. Grace seeks us and saves us; grace keeps us secure; grace enables us to serve and to endure the tests and trials of life. Grace will bring about our sanctification in this life and will ultimately bring us to glory. From beginning to end we are the object of divine grace.
A Prayer For Abounding Grace
By: David Mathis
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
I can flip a switch, but I don’t provide the electricity. When I turn on the overhead light in the morning, I don’t celebrate, “Hey, look what I did! I turned the lights on!” I didn’t provide the power. An electrician wired my house; the power company provided the energy; all I did was flip the switch that released the flow.
It’s similar to turning on a faucet. I didn’t put the plumbing in. I’m not the water company that supplies the water. I simply turn on the faucet and the water flows.
So it is, in a limited sense, for the Christian with the ongoing grace of God. His grace is essential for our spiritual lives, but we don’t control the supply. We can’t make the grace flow, but God has given us circuits to connect and pipes to open expectantly.
Our God is lavish in his grace, often liberally dispensing his favor without even the least bit of cooperation and preparation on our part. But he also has his regular channels. And we can routinely avail ourselves of these revealed paths of blessing, or neglect them to our detriment.
Lay Yourself In The Way Of Allurement
Zacchaeus may have been a wee little man, but he modeled this big reality by positioning himself along the path of grace. He couldn’t force Jesus’s hand, he couldn’t make grace flow, but he could put himself along the path where Grace was coming (Luke 19:1–10). The same was true of blind Bartimaeus (Luke 18:35–43). He couldn’t earn the restoration of his sight, but he could position himself along the route of grace where Jesus might give the gift as he passed that way.
“Think of the Spiritual Disciplines,” says Donald S. Whitney, “as ways we can place ourselves in the path of God’s grace and seek him as Bartimaeus and Zacchaeus placed themselves in Jesus’s path and sought him” (Spiritual Disciplines, 19). Or as Jonathan Edwards puts it, we can “endeavor to promote spiritual appetites by laying yourself in the way of allurement.”
God’s regular channels of grace are his word, his ear, and his people. So often, he showers his people with unexpected favor. But typically the grace that sends our roots deepest, truly grows us up in Christ, and produces lasting spiritual maturity, streams from the ordinary and unspectacular paths of fellowship, prayer, and Bible intake in its many forms.
Lord, Thank You For Your Abundant, Abounding Grace. Thank You That We Don't Have To Earn A Drop Of The Mighty River Of Grace That Flows Freely For Us Today. Thank You For The Unexpected, Unmerited Favor You've Showered On My Life. Help Me Put Myself In The Path Of Your Love And Grace. Help Me Not Neglect The Disciplines I Need To Meet With You Regularly And To Drink From The Water Of Life. Thank You For Your Rich Love. Amen.